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Identifying Your Story: The Fundamentals of Brand Storytelling

Watch the first 60-minute instalment of our New World Whiskey 2023 summit series - hosted by Becky Paskin.



About the session

Behind every successful brand is an intriguing story, but how can you ensure yours is compelling, far-reaching and eye-catching enough to capture the imagination of today’s spirits drinkers?

Part of an ongoing digital series launched in 2021 to reveal the major trends within the category, the latest chapter – The Fundamentals of Brand Storytelling: Identifying Your Story – is the first of three.

OurWhisky Founder, Becky Paskin, and a panel of expert speakers explored ways to ensure every brand story leaves a lasting impression.

"Any good story needs a good storyline. As a founder-led brand, your story gives you a chance to connect with the world in a very truthful and real way. It gives you a great plot line, and we’ve isolated five ways to bring it to life:

  1. Take people on a journey. Create excitement and intrigue about what’s coming next.
  2. Make people care. Look at what people will relate to and get inspired by in your journey.
  3. Don’t follow a straight line. People don’t sympathise with what’s perfect; they connect with the messy bits.
  4. Invite people on the journey with you. Get them to tell and write the story alongside you.
  5. Make it memorable. Find your gleaming detail."

said Zoe DeCool, Distill Ventures' Acceleration Marketing Director, who helps companies worldwide develop great positioning, messaging, design, communications and content that resonate with what’s happening right now.

Zoe added, "The breakthrough you need is to have something that resonates with the consumer, and that is your story.".

Jacine Rutasikwa, "At Matugga, storytelling has been at the heart of our endeavour. We’re trying to bring people on a journey into our world. We’ve anchored our rum brand directly to our cultural heritage, and our rum trinity brings three cultures together. This is the foundation for anything that we do. It guides our company, our distillery and our brand. Being able to leverage our cultural heritage brings a new narrative to the scene."

Marc Solomon, said: “You need to ask yourself, what’s the title of your book, and how will the chapters tell your story? There is no right answer to this.” Marc explained that it takes time and a lot of work to get to the heart of your brand story, and provided his own take on 5 ways to find it:

  1. Strive for simplicity and utility – if you can’t describe it to your parents in 10 seconds, it’s probably not right
  2. Think premise, not concept.
  3. Don’t give it all away in one go – you don’t need to tell your whole story across every touchpoint.
  4. Your story is not your brand story.
  5. Break the rules for the sake of interestingness.


A big thanks to our host, Becky Paskin, Founder of OurWhisky Foundation, and to our speakers:

Zoe DeCool, Acceleration Marketing Director at Distill Ventures

Jacine Rutasikwa, Co-founder of Matugga Rum

Marc Solomon, Associate Strategy Director at Bulletproof London